A horrible hack

Shonen Knife


Year Released: 2016
Format: CD
Label: Damnably
Reviewed by MH on Apr 5, 2016
With track titles like "Jump Into The New World", "Rock'n'Roll T-shirt" and "Wasabi" it's pretty obvious this is Shonen Knife's new LP that's appeared in the review pile and, not only that, but it's their 19th LP - count 'em! They've also got the original drummer back in the band on bass after all these years. I'm pretty familiar with a few of their 90s LPs and their last few but there's big gaps in between for me. I saw them play in a packed arts gallery in Brisbane last year which was the first time I'd seen them live since about 1991 in the Rough Trade Shop in Covent Garden. We dragged a few friends along to that art gallery show who looked a bit bemused by the miaows and songs about banana chips but they seemed to have a good time.

This new one is slightly less of a big rock album than their last LP, "Overdrive", but it's still got some major riffing going on and even a track called "ImI" which has some Motörhead-esque guitar lines. It's definitely a Shonen Knife-sounding record too as they flit between these bigger, classic rock songs and melodic pop with lots of harmonies and a 60s/70s influence. The lyrics feature food again with the aforementioned "Wasabi" and "Green Tangerine", and, whereas cats have had their fair number of inclusions on Shonen Knife songs in the past, it's the dogs who get the attention this time around on "Dog Fight" which even has "bow-wow"'s in the lyrics. Shonen Knife have always been an acquired taste for many and this record probably won't change that but it matters not. I've still got plenty of time in my life for Shonen Knife.

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